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Gironde River Cruises 2024/2025

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Gironde Travel Guide

Setting sail on a Gironde River Cruise is like stepping into a living postcard where each bend in the river reveals a new treasure. The Gironde is the largest estuary in Western Europe, nestled in the southwest of France, and it's a gateway to some of the most iconic vineyards and stunning scenery the region has to offer. Here, you can meander past rolling vineyards, historic forts, and charming French towns. It's not just a cruise; it's a journey through time and taste. The Gironde's unique selling points are its world-famous wine country, including the prestigious châteaux of the Médoc and Saint-Émilion, and its natural beauty, highlighted by the serene beaches on the Atlantic coast. Along the way, cultural gems await, from the bustling city life of Bordeaux to the quiet, historical squares of smaller river towns. With a Gironde River Cruise, you can soak up the sun, sip on fine wines, and savor the rich history and culture of southern France. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your Gironde river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.

Gironde Travel Guide
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Sail Date Operator Ship Departs Returns Length Price
Mar 10, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDolceBilbaoParis15$6,179
Mar 14, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDolceBordeauxBordeaux8$3,599
Mar 17, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDolceBilbaoParis15$6,279
Mar 21, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDolceBordeauxBordeaux8$3,699
Mar 31, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDolceBilbaoParis15$6,679
Mar 31, 2024VikingViking ForsetiBordeauxBordeaux8$5,699
Apr 04, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDolceBordeauxBordeaux8$4,099
Apr 07, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDolceBilbaoParis15$6,779
Apr 08, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxBordeaux11$13,590
Apr 08, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxMadrid14$15,045
Apr 08, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxLyon21$28,450
Apr 11, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDolceBordeauxBordeaux8$4,199
Apr 14, 2024VikingViking ForsetiBordeauxBordeaux8$6,499
Apr 25, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxBordeaux11$13,590
Apr 25, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxMadrid14$15,045
May 05, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxBordeaux8$10,790
May 05, 2024VikingViking ForsetiBordeauxBordeaux8$3,399
May 12, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxBordeaux8$11,390
May 12, 2024VikingViking ForsetiBordeauxBordeaux8$3,299
May 19, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxBordeaux11$13,790
May 26, 2024VikingViking ForsetiBordeauxBordeaux8$3,399
May 29, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxBordeaux11$13,790
Jun 02, 2024VikingViking ForsetiBordeauxBordeaux8$3,299
Jun 08, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxBordeaux11$14,690
Jun 09, 2024VikingViking ForsetiBordeauxBordeaux8$3,199
Jun 15, 2024ScenicScenic SapphireLyonBordeaux21$29,050
Jun 16, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDolceBilbaoParis15$7,079
Jun 16, 2024VikingViking ForsetiBordeauxBordeaux8$6,199
Jun 18, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxBordeaux8$11,390
Jun 20, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDolceBordeauxBordeaux8$4,499
Jun 23, 2024VikingViking ForsetiBordeauxBordeaux8$3,199
Jun 25, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxBordeaux11$13,790
Jun 25, 2024ScenicScenic SapphireLyonBordeaux21$28,450
Jun 25, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxLyon21$30,150
Jun 30, 2024VikingViking ForsetiBordeauxBordeaux8$3,199
Jul 05, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxBordeaux11$13,190
Jul 05, 2024ScenicScenic DiamondBordeauxMadrid14$14,645
Jul 05, 2024ScenicScenic SapphireLyonBordeaux21$29,550
Jul 07, 2024VikingViking ForsetiBordeauxBordeaux8$2,999
Jul 14, 2024AmaWaterwaysAmaDolceBilbaoParis15$7,079

Gironde Travel Guide

Gironde River Cruises Highlights

  • Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux: This stunning square is a symbol of Bordeaux's elegance with its classic French architecture. At night, it lights up and is reflected beautifully in the Water Mirror across from it.
  • La Cité du Vin, Bordeaux: This isn't your ordinary museum. It's a wine lover's dream, with interactive exhibits that take you on a journey through the world of wine. Plus, you get to sample some, too.
  • The Medoc Vineyards: A short ride from Pauillac port, these famous vineyards are where some of the world's best wines start their journey. The sight of endless vines is as mesmerizing as the wine is delicious.
  • Citadelle de Blaye: Overlooking the river, this fortress is steeped in history. It's not just a military marvel; the views from the top are breathtaking.
  • Saint-Émilion: Even if it's a bit inland, this medieval town is worth the detour. Known for its full-bodied red wines, the town itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with charming streets and ancient structures.
  • Dune of Pilat: A bit of a trip from the river, but this massive sand dune—the tallest in Europe—is a natural wonder that's not to be missed. Climbing it might be a challenge, but the panoramic views are the reward.
  • Arcachon Bay: Known for oysters, this bay is a paradise for seafood lovers. The water is tranquil, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely lunch on the shore.

Gironde River Cruises Travel Tips

  • You'll need euros, and it's always handy to have a bit of cash for small purchases onshore, though cards are widely accepted.
  • Make sure to stop and try the local cuisine. This is a must for many people, especially the oysters. 
  • Take some time out to visit the vineyards and wineries. This region is known for them and they provide the best.
  • Stop and take in the sights, sounds, and scents. You want to remember your time here and if you don't spend time taking it all in, then you will miss it. 
  • Comfortable walking shoes are a must for exploring ports and cobblestone streets.
  • Get a translator for your phone or learn some common phrases so you can find things, but also converse with the locals easier. 
  • You can walk almost everywhere in the area, but bikes are also available.

Gironde River Cruises Things To Do

  • Place de la Bourse
    Place de la Bourse

    If you've never seen a reflecting pool, then this is where you want to find yourself spending some time. It is a large landmark square that provides the best views and places along the walkway to visit. You can take part in everything to do in the square and even speak with the locals.   

    Best Time To Visit

    The best time to tour the attraction is during the nighttime many say. If you go when it is warm, you can even go in the water.   

     

    You Should Know

    The architecture of the building that was built between 1730 and 1775 is one of the biggest reasons that people choose to visit this area. It is recognized on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a historic site.
  • Bordeaux Cathedral
    Bordeaux Cathedral

    Dedicated to St. Andrew, this Roman Catholic Church is a spectacle of history worth seeing from both the inside and outside. You can find that it is one of the three historic churches in the area that are still being used. This one houses the Archbishop of Bordeaux.   

    Best Time To Visit

    Those who choose to visit usually go when the weather is cooler and when it might be raining, as you can walk throughout the hallways inside. This allows you to have something to do when the weather is less than favorable.  

     

    You Should Know

    UNESCO listed this as one of three main churches in Bordeaux as a historic place to visit and to be preserved. Keep a couple of hours open to walk through the church, as it is quite big and you can learn a lot from visiting.
  • Pey Berland Tower
    Pey Berland Tower

    This tower is a part of the Bordeaux Cathedral that holds a bell tower. It provides the best possible way to learn more about the history of the area and the religion that was used throughout. You can get a guided tour through the bell tower once you are done going through the church itself.   

    Best Time To Visit

    The best time is when you visit the church it is a part of. From there, you can walk to the tower and do a tour without having to come back on another day.   

     

    You Should Know

    The tour guides are pretty good at being able to speak both French and English, but you should brush up on some French before you go on a tour.
  • Grand Theatre de Bordeaux
    Grand Theatre de Bordeaux

    This is a grand opera house that everyone who is visiting for the first time should try for themselves. With a number of shows that happen, you can find an opera, concert, or ballet that is being put on by professionals. It was built in 1780, offering a lot of history around every corner.   

    Best Time To Visit

    The best time to attend the theater is when there is a show you want to see being performed. This is generally during the night, so you'll want to make sure to go during that day and time.    

     

    You Should Know

    You should purchase your tickets for this in advance, as you want to make sure you have them before you go and before the show you want to see is sold out. A young Marius Petipa once staged some of his first ballets in this theatre.
  • Medoc
    Medoc

    This is not necessarily an attraction, but an entire region. It is largely known as a wine-growing region. Home to over 1,500 vineyards, this is one of the best places to visit if you want to try some of the newest, freshest wines that come directly from the region's best plants. The terrain is fertile and produces gallons upon gallons for the growers of the region.  

    Best Time To Visit

    Medoc is the most beautiful during the warmer months when the wine is being produced. You can then try it right from the vineyards.   

     

    You Should Know

    There is high rainfall in the area, so you will want to go when this is not an issue. They produce mainly red wine in the area.
  • Musee d’Aquitaine
    Musee d’Aquitaine

    This is basically a large history that has a collection of the pieces that brought the past of this area together. They have documents that outline the people and what was done in the area. This provides those who want to learn more about Bordeaux with the information they need, plus pretty cool items from the past.   

    Best Time To Visit

    Those who visit like to go when the weather is comfortable or when it is lightly raining.  This way, you can enjoy the inside of the museum and not have to worry about the outside elements.  

     

    You Should Know

    You will want to put aside a decent amount of time to walk through the museum with all of the sights to see within. Grab tickets in advance or pay for them at the door, but the museum does fill up fast during the tourist season so keep this in mind.
  • Basilica of Saint Michael, Bordeaux
    Basilica of Saint Michael, Bordeaux

    This World Heritage Site is one that UNESCO rates highly because it is one of the three main churches in the area. As part of history, you can walk through the halls and look at the impressive architecture around each and every corner you take.   

    Best Time To Visit

    The best time is when the tourist season is over. You will be able to walk better throughout the building. If it is chilly or raining, stopping here can be ideal since it is mostly inside.   

     

    You Should Know

    This is a Gothic church with the best architecture, and you can see the very flamboyant design that it gives off, making it ideal for those who love architectural buildings.
  • Place des Quinconces
    Place des Quinconces

    The largest city square in Europe, this is a place where many people choose to come because of the massive amounts of things to do. Laid out in 1820, it was a site that has seen a lot and continues to see a lot of traffic coming and going. Check out the street vendors, go into the businesses located around the square, and enjoy your time here.  

    Best Time To Visit

    The square should be visited when it is warm out and it is not raining. You want to be able to walk through the square comfortably. This can only be done when the weather is nice.  

     

    You Should Know

    It can fill up quickly, so keep this in mind during your visit to the square. Try to bring some of the local currency with you because the street vendors are more likely to take it.

Gironde River Cruise Packages

  • Getting There

    If you're looking to start your Gironde River Cruise, getting there is pretty straightforward. The most common access point for these cruises is the city of Bordeaux, which is nestled in the heart of France's wine country. Bordeaux is well-connected by air and land, so you can fly directly into Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport or take a train if you're coming from another part of Europe.

    Cruise ships dock right at the Port of Bordeaux, which is located along the Garonne River, one of the Gironde's two major rivers. It's an ideal starting point for your journey. The port itself is equipped to welcome travelers with all the amenities you'd expect, and from there, ships sail northwest towards the Atlantic or inland, where the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers meet to form the Gironde estuary. It's here that your adventure into the scenic and historic landscapes of southwestern France begins.

  • Immerse Yourself in Local Culture on a Gironde River Cruise

    Taking a Gironde River Cruise isn't just about the stunning views—it's also a deep dive into local culture. The region's heart beats to the rhythm of age-old customs and lively festivals.

    In every little town along the riverbanks, you'll sense the pride locals have in their traditions. Take the time to chat with them, and you'll hear stories passed down through generations. Visit during festival season and you might catch the Fête le Vin, Bordeaux's celebrated wine festival, or the Fête de la Musique, a day where music fills every corner of France, including the Gironde.

    Strolling through open-air markets, you'll see how food and wine aren't just part of life here—they are life. And if you're lucky enough to be invited to a local's home, you'll experience the legendary French hospitality where sharing a meal is like sharing a piece of their culture. Embrace it all, and you'll leave with a sense of connection that goes beyond the usual tourist experience.

  • Experience the Flavors of the Gironde River

    When you're cruising down the Gironde River, you're in for a treat, especially if you love good food. The region is a paradise for foodies. It's all about fresh, local produce and, of course, fantastic wine.

    The star of the show has to be the Bordeaux wine. Visiting a local vineyard to taste these world-famous wines is a must. And let's not forget about the food. You'll want to try "canneles," these little caramelized pastries that are a sweet staple around here. For something savory, "entrecote bordelaise," a steak cooked in a rich wine sauce, is a classic.

    Seafood lovers, rejoice! Thanks to the nearby Atlantic, oysters, and mussels are super fresh and often served with a simple squeeze of lemon to let the flavors shine. And with the river's banks lined with quaint towns, you won't struggle to find cozy bistros and riverside cafes that serve up these delicacies.

    My tip? Try to eat where the locals do, and don't be shy to ask for the day's specials. This way, you'll get the most authentic and seasonal dishes. Oh, and leave room for cheese. With a cheese course considered a must in French dining, it's the perfect way to round off your meal. Bon appétit!

  • Why Book a River Cruise on the Gironde River?

    Thinking about a Gironde River cruise? Here's why it's a brilliant idea. First, it's a bang for your buck. You get accommodation, transportation, and stunning views rolled into one. No need to hop from hotel to hotel; your cozy cabin on the cruise ship takes you right to the heart of the region. Plus, cruising means unpacking once and waking up to new views every day without the hassle of constant travel.

    Then there's the unique perspective. On a river cruise, you glide past landscapes not always visible from land. Picture sipping your morning coffee as you drift by vineyards and historic sites, all without the distraction of traffic noise or crowds. It's peaceful, it's picturesque, and it's as relaxing as travel gets.

    And let's not forget the exclusive access. Some cruises offer experiences you can't get anywhere else – like private wine tastings at secluded chateaux or after-hours tours of museums and attractions. These are the kinds of special treats that turn a good vacation into an unforgettable journey.

    So, a river cruise on the Gironde isn't just a trip. It's a collection of unique moments, comforts, and experiences that you'll treasure long after you've returned to dry land.

  • Ready to Book Your Gironde River Cruise?

    Ready to see the Gironde River for yourself? This isn't just any trip—it's your ticket to explore France from a fresh perspective. Picture yourself gliding past vineyard-clad hills, stopping at ports steeped in history, and tasting wines that never make it to the supermarket shelves.

    This cruise is more than a holiday; it's a chance to step into a postcard-perfect world where every turn brings a new discovery. From the grand architecture of Bordeaux to the charming villages along the estuary, the Gironde region is waiting to be explored. And with the convenience of unpacking just once, you can settle in for a seamless adventure.

    So, what are you waiting for? Grab your chance to experience a blend of relaxation, exploration, and indulgence on a Gironde River Cruise. Book now and get ready for memories that will last a lifetime.

Gironde River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions

  • Best Time to Take a Gironde River Cruise

    The best time to take a cruise down the Gironde River is during September and October. These months are ideal because they are the harvest months for the area. They produce the most wine, the weather is comfortable, and there is a lot more to do during these months.

  • What is a Gironde River Cruise?

    A Gironde River Cruise is a cruise that takes you through a series of rivers and waterways throughout France. You will be able to see a lot of places along the way. You can take advantage of this vacation trip because you are able to stop in at these places and have one big vacation instead of having to find a place to stay at each location you want to visit.

  • What Comes with a Gironde River Cruise?

    The cruises are all-inclusive. They provide the board, food, basic drinks, and activities all on the ship for one price. You are then able to take advantage of the ability to have a great trip without having to choose where to stay, what to eat, or spending extra money. The alcohol, luxury activities such as spa treatments or room service, and extra add ons, or while you are off the ship are not included in the price. Tips and gratuity generally are included in the price.

  • How Much Does a Gironde River Cruise Cost?

    The cruise price can change based on the type of room, length of the trip, and the extras that you put onto the trip itself. The prices generally range from $2,499 and can go up to $5,899 depending on which cruise line, the room and anything else that you want to add to the trip. The cost will increase depending on the number of days you want to be out on the sea and visiting the locations on the itinerary.

  • What are the Best Gironde River Cruise Lines?

    The best cruise line is the one that provides you with the budget and ability to get more out of your trip. You can choose which you feel covers all of your bases and gives you the best outcome. Those who have taken a Gironde River Cruise recommend AmaWaterways, Viking, or Avalon Waterways.

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